The original plant is on the right, orange and spindly blooms and the new one is on the left. My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to know why the difference. I went to Mitch Mitchlamore at Texas Natives. He is mainly into native trees but he knows a lot about most native plants. He thinks the orange one is actually the true native and the other has been changed for nurseries to sell as the color is more vibrant.
I dug the original on a friend's ranch in the far southwestern edge of the hill country so I know it is a true native. Now Mitch wants all the volunteers as he has been unable to find a supplier. As any true gardener would I'm potting them for him as fast as I find them.
And with that another garden mystery has been solved-I think.